Mau Mau War Veterans in Embu have called on the Government to fast track compensation of Sh. 21 trillion by the British Government over atrocities meted on them during the freedom struggle.
The freedom fighters alleged that the British Government in 2015 released the funds through the World Bank, but the previous governments failed to start the process of transferring the money to the country for onward transmission to the beneficiaries.
“The British Government has on three different occasions attempted to compensate the Mau Mau veterans, but their efforts have been frustrated by the former regimes that took a disinterested stand,” their coordinator Elias Mwaniki said.
They pleaded with the current administration led by President William Ruto to unlock the stalemate to ensure the freedom fighters get their reparations.
Speaking in Nembure Stadium in Embu West Sub-county, Mwaniki lamented that it was unfortunate that many of the freedom fighters had died without receiving their compensation for the torture they underwent during the struggle to liberate the country from the colonial yoke.
Bishop Elias Rukenya whose father and mother died during the war said life has not been easy for them as they failed to get good parenting and education that could have bettered their lives as their fathers were busy fighting deep in the forest.
“Our fathers despite sacrificing their lives to free the country from the colonial bondage received nothing in return and many died poor while the few surviving ones are living in deplorable conditions,” Bishop Rukenya said.
Cecilia Nyaga whose father was also a freedom fighter said the funds, if released, would greatly improve their welfare and challenged the current regime to fast track the process.
Human Rights Activist Dr. Fridah Karani appealed to the Government to hasten the passage of the pending Bill lying in parliament.
“As the government releases the social protection funds for the elderly, it is our humble plea that it also considers compensation for the freedom fighters,” she said.
The fighters in May last year filed a case in Milimani Law Courts barring the government from interfering with negotiations and compensation from the British Government through their National Chairman Joseph Ngacha Karani.
Through their caucus, Mau Mau Original Trust, the fighters in the petition argued that the government had failed or ignored to commence the process of transferring the funds from the World Bank.
By Samuel Waititu